Talk:Self-refuting idea

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Identity Theory[edit]

I have removed "But that is not the case if some form of identity theory is true." partly because it is un-refed, partly because it's OR, and partly because I think it's wrong (even as OR). Clearly there are some forms of identity theory which, if true, would entail materialism, but this says nothing as to whether or not they are in fact contradictory. NBeale 17:57, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

The logic is self-evident: If an idea is identical to some material thing, it is not eliminated by materialism. There is a reason why your refs are talking specifically about eliminative materlalism.1Z 18:54, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
There are 2 problems with this: (a) if an idea is identical to some material thing then it is impossible for two people to have the same idea in their minds (assuming that minds are identified with brains and that people's brains are distinct;
That is easily addressed. If you take an idea to be an idea-token, not an idea-type, you would identify it with a type of material structural activity, not a token.

(b) what we need to ref this is a notable philosopher making this argument, rather than our opinion as Editors. NBeale 08:45, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Philosophers are judged by their arguments,not the other way round.1Z 13:38, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Sadly since Wikipedia is a tertiary source we can't quite operate like philosophers. I suppose I can live with "may escape" - though I think the whole para verges on OR.
Oh, please. The people you quote qualify their comments as applying only to eliminative materialism. Why do you think that is?1Z 15:17, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't deny that there are philosophers who seek to identify mental events with physical events. But (a) none of the refs quoted makes the argument that "ideas" exist (or even mentions "ideas" as far as I can see) let alone tries to counter the self-refuting criticism (b) identity-theorists can (perhaps, eventually) offer an (outline) account of "Mr X believing A" and "Ms Y believing B" as mental events/conditions in terms of physical events/conditions in their brains but they cannot offer an account of an idea as distinct from a particular instance of that idea either being believed in by a particular person or written down in a particular way.
But would they need to? Any exchange between two people is an exchange of individual utterances. A particular utterance of "Only matter exists" is a sentence-token expressing an idea-token. To put it another way, if you are correct, there is a one-line argument that disproves nominalism, and has yet eluded generations of philosophers.1Z 15:17, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
However the point of a philosophical argument or idea is that it exists interpersonally so that you can talk about "X believing A" and "Y believing A" and "This book advocating A" NBeale 13:15, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
For nominalists, that is just a way of talking. The existence of universals is not "just true".1Z 15:17, 8 February 2007 (UTC)


Given that Epimenides is already covered in paradox there is not much material in this article. Maybe it should be merged with performative contradiction.1Z 22:44, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

This is a recent article and I think it'll get bigger over time. There are already 4 different ideas listed and I think there will be a few more. It's a rather different concept than performative contradiction. NBeale 09:10, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
There are two examples of paradoxes and two examples of self-defeating claims.
Paradoxes shouldn't even be mentioned except to explain the difference1Z 14:02, 7 February 2007 (UTC)


Couldn't this whole thing be refuted by Godel's incompleteness theorem? It doesn't have to justify itself because that would require justifying logic and you can't prove that logic is true using logic. We are just forced to use logic.

That isn't Godel's theorem. "you can't justify logic using lohic" assumes foundatioanlism. 1Z 15:50, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

However, this sense of the term "foundationalism" is not the same as the sense of foundationalism currently used in philosophy, which (following the refutation of such "naive foundationalism" by arguments such as the one cited by Kenny) now explicitly allows for a set of Basic beliefs.

1. The "basic beliefs" formulation is not the only response to naive foundationalism. As explained in basic beliefs:

  • In classical foundationalism, beliefs are held to be properly basic if they are either self-evident axiom, or evident to the senses (empiricism).
  • In modern foundationalism, beliefs are held to be properly basic if they were either self-evident axiom or incorrigible. One such axiom is Rene Descartes's axiom, Cogito ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am"). Incorrigible (lit. uncorrectable) beliefs are those which one can believe without possibly being wrong. Notably, faith in the senses is not seen as properly basic, because, Descartes argued, all our sensory experience could be an illusion;
  • In reformed epistemology, beliefs are held to be properly basic if we are naturally inclined to believe them. Examples include faith in our senses, faith in our memory, and belief in God.

2. The self-evident impossibility of infinite regress, if it really is a self-evident truth, does not need the Modern or Reformed framework; if it really is self-evident, it works within the Classical framework.1Z 16:32, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

3. The argument against Classical foundationalism is an argument against the incorrigibility of the senses. However, the definition of "naive foundationalism" in the SRI article does not mention the sense. The Regress argument for foundationalism doesn't specifiy what is foundational. Thus, the truth of the Regress argument is compatible with the definition of "naive foundationalism" given, even if classical foundationalism is false. 1Z 16:44, 20 February 2007 (UTC)


I am not convinced this is self-refuting. It seems more like an argument by dichotomy. Or possibly false dichotomy.1Z 17:24, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Stolen concept fallacy[edit]

User Peterdjones put an argument under the Stolen Concept description.

Peter, I see several problems with your argument. The concept of immortality depends upon mortality for its meaning - you seemed to have it the other way around. And, it isn't about "relates to" - it is about "depends upon." And the existents for a concept don't figure into the stolen concept fallacy.

The existence of rightfully owned property is already in the concept - as a logical possibility. It isn't required that there actually be 1 or 1 million, or any other number of existents. The concept subsumes all units. But "right-fully owned" is there as a defining characteristic and with that, the claim that "property is theft" commits the stolen concept fallacy. Putting it another way, your argument has no meaning because even if all property in the world had been stolen, it would not make property itself theft.

But for Wikipedia what is important is that it is YOUR argument, therefore original research, therefore removed. Steve 23:12, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

"The concept of immortality depends upon mortality for its meaning - you seemed to have it the other way around".

How do you know? surely it works both ways.

"it is about "depends upon."

if you can establish an asymmetry. it does. But you haven't. "owned" depends on "stolen", and vice-versa, "mortal" depends on "immortal" and vice-versa.

And the existents for a concept don't figure into the stolen concept fallacy.

If that is true, a mere concept of "rightfully owned", without an referents, or, as you call them "existents", is sufficient to allow "theft" to be defined.

"Putting it another way, your argument has no meaning because even if all property in the world had been stolen, it would not make property itself theft".

Unless "property is theft" means exactly that "all so-called 'property' has in fact been stolen". Which is no more self-refuting than "No so-called 'free society' is truly free'.

For instance.

1Z 01:19, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

"But for Wikipedia what is important is that it is YOUR argument, therefore original research, therefore removed"

Notability is important, too. Randian arguments have often been removed on those grounds. 1Z 01:21, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Sourced material remains, orig.research goes, your POV is clear in your ad homium arguments on Rand. The criticism is pertinent and notable. Steve 04:38, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Sourcing is not the only criterion in the guidelines. Are you saying Nathaniel Branden is a notable philosopher? 1Z 10:36, 8 April 2007 (UTC)


This study of how a term has been used is fundamentally original research. Just because this article has a lot of examples of the usage of this term, doesn't make the analysis attributable to any of those original sources. Please follow the treatment of some source that is about "self-refuting ideas", I know there is something about this in some apologetics guide. Look, if you do a google search on "self-refuting idea", this entry is #1, and #2 is a comment on my talk page complaining about this article, and then #3 is something on NBeale's blog, are we creating new primary source material here? --Merzul 01:43, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Wiki pages always come high on google. (Try searching "self defeating" and "self undermining").That some there are self-defeating arguments is a fairly common theme in philosophy. Beale's original page was POV-pushing, but I think it is evolving away from that. 1Z 01:55, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

BTW, what do you think the synthesis is aiming to show?1Z 01:59, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not complaining about POV, as I see you have done an admirable job in trying to neutralize the article, but this article still lacks the kind of sources that would be about the concept instead of being some famous philosopher saying "X is self-refuting". If we can add a couple of sources like this, especially some Companion of Philosophy type work, then it's of course fine to flash out details and add more detailed philosophical analysis, but the core of the article should draw on sources that have already done the kind of analysis that is being done here, namely collect examples of self-refuting ideas, and also provide context on the use of this kind of argument. --Merzul 03:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I haven't looked at this article for a while but I think it's in not too bad shape, and I don't see that it's OR at all. Each statement is carefully refed and we are not even trying to make a synthesis NBeale 15:33, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I still believe this is synthetic, because we are not using sources about "self-refuting ideas", but instead we are searching for usage of the term "self-refuting". This is not in accordance with my view of what Wikipedia should be about, but I'm not going to insist on this issue. This article might be useful, and I trust 1Z is keeping it neutral. --Merzul 18:19, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Altruism & Theism removed[edit]

I've removed Altruism because the "argument" was a blog and not a Reliable Source. (It was also utterly feeble, but that's secondary). I've also removed Theism because Meyers doesn't even remotely suggest why this might be self-refuting: it's not enough to assert "X is self-refuting" you need to say "X is self-refuting because Y" (also Meyers is trying to quote/summarise/defend Dawkins in his letter and I'm not sure whether it's exactly his view he is putting forward). However if this problem can be remedied I have no objection in principle to restoring the section (though of course I don't agree that Theism is a self-refuting idea but that is not the point) so I preserve the text here: Biologist PZ Myers suggests "postulating an immensely complicated being to explain the creation of an immensely complicated universe doesn't actually explain anything and is self-refuting."[1] Professional theistic philosophers, however, contend Myers' characterization actually departs from the standard understanding of God as epitomized in the work of philosophers such as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas; God's classical attribute of aseity instead postulates a simple being.[2] NBeale 15:46, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

If the given refs are inadequate, you should try to find better ones. Material should be deleted because it can not been verified, not because it has not been verified. 1Z 18:09, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

DONE. Theism now back in the article. 19:27, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I had actually added theism in a rather childish attempt to prove a point about the synthetic nature of this article. My point was, if we are just going to add something, whenever someone considers a straw-man presentation of a concept to be self-refuting? --Merzul 18:37, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
But all the "Theism" section now purports to show is that this argument for theism is fallacious (of course it isn't because Aquinas distinguishes between contingent and necessary beings). It doesn't even slightly suggest that "Theism" is self-refuting, merely that one formulation of an arugument for theism (not actuallty espoused by any theist) is defective. NBeale 21:21, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I have put it back. You may disagree with the "self-refuting" tag, you may think the arguments are pretty feeble or downright wrong, but both the people quoted do more than slightly suggest that belief in god is self-refuting - they say it outright! It is a fact that a number of thinkers describe theism as "self-refuting". It seems perfectly reasonable to refer to this in an article on "self-refuting ideas". Do not suppress well-refed info, etc etc! Snalwibma 05:36, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
But all this says/suggests is that the conclusion of this argument contradicts the premise, so possibly that (one version of) the argument from the first cause is self-refuting. "A is a bad argument for B" does not make B a self-refuting idea! NBeale 07:45, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I really don't see the difference between this particular "self-refuting idea" and others in the list. If this isn't really self-refuting, in what sense do relativism, skepticism, scienticism, solipsism etc. fit the definition? They are there on the grounds that "It has been argued that ..." or "It is often asserted that ..." or "Philosopher XXX argues that..." or "On the face of it, XXX is self-defeating." The notion that theism is self-refuting has just as much behind it. Also - it may technically be correct to retitle the section "First-cause arguments", but surely the main point of interest is the context in which such arguments are made, and that context is as an argument (albeit a shaky one) against belief in a deity. It seems a little disingenuous to conceal that context by hiding it under a bland and rather empty heading. If the concept of "self-refuting idea" is worth an article, it needs a proper discussion of the contexts in which it has been used. Snalwibma 08:14, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, this was precisely the point I was trying to make. I think the theist entry was no more problematic than any of the other entries on this page. I mean, why do (some) theists have problems with (some) facts? Perhaps, it is because they regard the self-refutation of other doctrines as absolutely fundamental to their worldview. It is therefore very disturbing to suggest that things are not quite as they are taught at Sunday school. --Merzul 10:12, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
really I have no problem with the idea that Theism might be listed as a self-refuting idea if there were a half-way decent, or even indecent, argument that it was. But simply saying "X has been called self-refuting" is not enough. And if I gave a very bad argument for (say) Evolution (eg "Darwin was a human being whose wisdom, nay, omniscience can never be surpassed; Darwin believed in Evolution, therefore Evolution must be true") that I could argue was self-refuting (because if E. were true then D's wisdom could in principle be suprassed) then even if I were correct in believing that it was self-refuting that would not at all suggest that Evolution was. NBeale 21:10, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

[reset indent] Absolutely. And in that respect the argument that theism (now titled natural theology - thanks, 1Z) is self-refuting is no different from most of the other topics listed in the article. They are there not because they are self-refuting, but because someone has described them as such. As the introduction to the article says, "Many ideas are accused by their detractors of being self-refuting, and such accusations are therefore almost always controversial, with defenders claiming that the idea is being misunderstood or that the argument is invalid. For these reasons, none of the ideas below is unambiguously or incontrovertibly self-refuting." We do not judge, we merely report. Theism has quite clearly been accused of being self-refuting. Therefore it belongs. QED. Snalwibma 21:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

They are there because someone has suggested an argument why they are/might be self-refuting, not just because they have been called it. NBeale 09:16, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm happy that the Altruism claim is out as it's a dubious claim. "If everyone were completely selfless, everyone would be denying their own happiness "...misses that "everyone" is an extreme that rarely happens in humans and it also misses (this is the real bomb) the evidence that indicates that being altruistic is in itself a source of happiness related to food and sex ((Washington Post spin on this here), which says "the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.". The next step, obviously, is, like Love, to identify the sequences responsible for "Altruism". I just love materialism.
I don't see "Theism" as self-refuting any more than I would see LOTR or Harry Potter or the canonical view of Star Trek. Any fictional creation of man that exists in its own consistent worldview cannot be self-refuting. Ttiotsw 10:31, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
If, as proposed by NBeale, we make a distinction between "X has been called self-refuting, with an argument to back up the assertion" and "Y has been called self-refuting with no valid argument", isn't this inevitably a move towards [[WP:|original research]]? The stuff by Schick about Aquinas (under "First-cause arguments") may be rubbish, and it may be based on a misunderstanding of Aquinas, but nonetheless he presents an argument that the reasoning is self-refuting. And even if he didn't, even if he merely said "belief in god is self-refuting", where is the dividing line between mere assertion and acceptable argument? Who is to be the arbiter of the validity of the arguments? Snalwibma 11:14, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

It could still be possible to find a reference to the effect that authority C considers authority B to have no real argument against authority A. 1Z 16:40, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I have some sources to refute it's placement here, and I will add them and look into the possibility of atheism being self refuting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Atheists hate god. Atheists feel threatened of God. Etcetera[edit]

That is a very common self-refuting idea, can/should we point it out in the article? I know we shouldn't "make points" but this particular self-refuting idea is quite commonly sprouted out peoples mouths.--Steven X 08:14, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

In what way is it self-refuting? Do you have any refs? 1Z 16:36, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Atheists do not even believe in God. That's what makes, "Atheists hate god" and "Atheists feel threatened of God" self-refuting ideas.--Steven X 09:37, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Or "Atheists hate the idea of God", etc. 1Z 10:36, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

To the extent that this is a problem, it seems mostly a version of the problem of negative existentials. And everyone knows that we can avoid problems like that by simply having a proper understanding of grammar.... Right? (talk) 01:57, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

For some idea B to be a self-refuting idea for some agent A, it must be the case that
(A believes that B is true) implies (B is not true).
For example, the idea that "there is nothing Socrates believes" is a self-refuting idea for Socrates:
If Socrates believes that there is nothing Socrates believes, then it is not true there is nothing Socrates believes.
Similarly, but now agent-independent:
If Descartes believes that nothing exists, then it is not true that nothing exists.
So "nothing exists" is self-refuting (as an idea).
Now apply this to "Atheists hate god". I don't know who is supposed to be the agent, so let us keep this for now as A:
If A believes that Atheists hate god, then Atheists don't hate god.
It is hard to see how the Atheists' not hating god might depend on some agent believing they do. So this does not seem to fit the requirement for being self-refuting.
Here is something to ponder: is this self-refuting or not?
If you believe you can't make mistakes, then you're making a big mistake.

 --Lambiam 21:08, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


I always thought this was the most basic example of a self-refuting idea...

If nihilism proposes a lack of truths, isn't the absence of truth itself a truth, and thus, invalid?

Oh, my head hurts.

I suppose nihilism only works if you're not too serious about it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 15 September 2010 (UTC) (talk) 12:21, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

List of Stupid Arguments[edit]

I propose this article be renamed List of Stupid Arguments

Really. So, so stupid... —Jemmytc 14:39, 14 July 2008 (UTC)


The reply to the arguments under determinism is rather weak, and I would suggest that it be deleted unless a source can be found, with the "both arguments can be countered" altered to something that does not imply that the counter is sufficient. The essence of the argument that determinism is self-refuting as I have encountered it Micheal Heumer has some good comments on it that I shall attempt to track down) is that if one disbelieves determinism, if determinism is false, one's belief is correct; if determinism is true, then one had no choice, and he has not believed in a falsehood that he could have avoided. Therefore, disbelief in determinism is categorically justified. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

The determinism section is actually using indeterminism to refute it (it even openly assumes free will...), so it is not self-refuting. There's also some red herring. If there's no better argument, then I vote for its deletion. -- (talk) 05:02, 20 September 2011 (UTC)


This entire section is absolutely awful. Most of the arguments here are poorly-constructed, poorly cited, with a dash of original research and soapboxing thrown in (and some other things that Wikipedia isn't), and, on top of all that, they completely overwhelm what is actually the body of the article. I'd make a case for deleting the entire section. It could certainly be cut down to a few well sourced and well thought-out examples, but it would probably just fill up with little pet theses again. For now I'm tagging the section with original research. It doesn't cover the extent of this unencyclopedic mess, but I can't really think up a tag that does. EdibleKarma (talk) 11:10, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

It seems that this section is just an excuse for people to argue against whatever philosophical position they happen to disagree with; it starts with determinism and doesn't get any better from there. Such arguments should instead be submitted on the relevant pages, if at all. Also, the mere fact that this is a list of examples of ideas the editors disagree with makes it conducive to negative, subjective comments - the title of the section may as well be "Bash Your Least Favorite Philosophy Here." Even when sources are cited, they tend to simply be other Internet denizens who agree with the editor, rather than well-researched arguments. I have my doubts that this section is salvageable. (talk) 16:55, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Gödelian Incompleteness and Inconsistency[edit]

I think the section “Gödelian Incompleteness and Inconsistency” should be removed. The theorem has been misinterpreted: «all sufficiently powerful mathematical theories (e.g. Peano arithmetic, Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory) contain the paradoxical sentence "This sentence is unprovable".» That's wrong, because the theories exemplified are incomplete; that is, they do not have such sentence. Under any effectively generated theory (from a finite set of axioms, we build an infinite set of theorems) — that is, a theory consisting of a recursively enumerable set of theorems, which are, therefore, encoded as numbers —, that expresses certain arithmetic properties of numbers, if one can encode a statement saying that itself doesn't exist in such theory, then the theory is clearly inconsistent (cf. Ex falso quodlibet). On the other hand, if one cannot encode such statement, then it can always constitute a proper extension of that theory (that was proved by Gödel, considering those "certain arithmetic properties"), and, therefore, such theory is incomplete (cf. definition of completeness). I'm not a regular editor, so I abstain from removing it. (talk) 00:14, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Given the manner in which the article defines a self-refuting idea, neither the incompleteness theorems nor the Godel sentence should be included in this article. At the outset of the article, a self-refuting idea is defined as one which implies its own negation. The incompleteness theorems obviously do not satisfy the definition, and the Godel sentence does not satisfy this definition. While the Godel sentence does share the self-referential structure of the Liar-paradox, perhaps we should note that under the portion of this page which discusses the liar. This has lead to some confusion; I came upon this article as an otherwise spot-on young philosophy student linked me this article as evidence that the incompleteness theorem is self-refuting.
As such, I'll remove this section.
Lambda.calc (talk) 23:00, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Sola scriptura[edit]

I took this section out of the article for the following reasons:

1. Catholic Answers is not a reliable or respectable source. They are a religious proselytization group that engages in all manners of rhetorical slight-of-hand, misinformation, and outright distortions in order to win people to the "one true church," as they see it. The only people who respect Catholic Answers or even regard them as well-intentioned are traditionalist Catholics.

2. Catholic Answers is attacking a straw-man caricature of sola scriptura (see the article on Sola Scriptura) and not an accurate depiction of the doctrine. Moreover, sola scriptura really isn't a "doctrine," but the logical deduction from the fact that Christians have only one set of documents in fixed, unchanging format that they regard as "inspired." Catholic Answers can easily disprove this inference if they produce one single article of their "holy tradition" outside of the Bible that has been handed on from the time of Christ until now without alteration, and that can be authenticated as ancient. However, they cannot do so and all of their "apologists" have balked when challenged to do so. (Even their favorite retort - the canon of scripture - falls apart when one notes that this is not a "tradition," but the decision of a council that resulted from vigorous debate.) When pressed to recite or demonstrate an ancient oral tradition, they immediately resort to distortions of the original question, obfuscations, and try to change the subject.

3. The rest of the article is about philosophy and doesn't delve into religious topics. The sudden dive into sectarian squabbles are out of place here.

4. The alternative to removing this section is for a Protestant to add to it - to state that Catholic Answers is attacking a straw-man and that Catholicism's doctrine, that some supposed Catholic "oral tradition" has more weight than scripture, is unsound since they do not have an "oral tradition" they can demonstrate. Then, of course, some Catholic will add his counter-rebuttal that vaguely-defined beliefs are, in fact, valid examples of "tradition," and the Protestant will post his counter-counter-rebuttal that they're not. Many religious articles on Wikipedia post long lists of apologetic arguments that ruin the encyclopedic quality of Wikipedia. We don't need that spilling into the other articles. --ManicBrit (talk) 13:16, 5 June 2010 (UTC)--ManicBrit (talk) 13:16, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Catholic Answers argues that the Bible does not support reliance on itself as the sole source for doctrine and liturgy, and that the Protestant concept of sola scriptura is therefore self-refuting. It actually means that the Bible is the only infallible or inerrant authority for Christian faith, and that it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. This implies, then, that it is not necessary for salvation or holiness to believe in sola scriptura. Further, if the concept of sola scriptura states that the Bible is the exclusive infallible authority, then the source of the concept of sola scriptura itself is not from an infallible authority.

Self-reference, not self-refuting[edit]

I think this page should be folded into the idea of Self-reference. Mainly because self-refuting idea appears to be a self-refuting idea. Yottzumm (talk) 22:39, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

section: Indirectly self-denying statements or "fallacy of the stolen concept"[edit]

May I suggest that Objectivist perspectives should be granted little or no coverage in general, high-level summary articles about philosophy and logic (except perhaps in articles about political philosophy, where Objectivism may be relevant as an example of an extreme and exaggerated libertarian position.) Objectivism is a highly fringe, largely self-contained ideological community whose ideas are (quite properly, imho) taken with little or no seriousness outside of the Objectivist community itself. The current section comprises a straightforward recounting of a Randian claim, followed by a well-meaning but rambling, distracting, and potentially O.R. refutation. The section should probably be removed entirely, or at least trimmed down to one or two sentences integrated within a different and more generally relevant section. (talk) 19:58, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

To amplify: the current "variations" section is, by word count, about 60% devoted to one very particular Randian claim, with only fleeting references to the likes of Epimenides, Russell, and Gödel. Only a Rand acolyte could possibly see this as an appropriate weighting, and even then, it would have to be a particularly uncritical one. (talk) 20:01, 10 January 2013 (UTC)